Once you have achieved your weight loss goals, the next challenge is to maintain your new weight in the long term. Many women tend to revert to their previous unhealthy habits that caused them to gain weight in the first place, leading to weight gain once again.
However, it is possible to maintain your new weight by adopting certain habits, including eating a healthy diet, staying active, getting enough sleep, and monitoring your weight regularly.
Here are ten proven strategies that can help you keep the weight off for good.
1. Stay Active All The Time
No doubt you achieved weight loss success by including exercise as a part of your lifestyle. Keep it up as you did while trying to lose the weight.
Don’t assume that you can stop exercising now that the weight is gone.
Not only will it help you keep the weight off, but it is good for both your cardiovascular and mental health.
2. Weigh Yourself Once A Week
Sometimes regaining weight creeps up suddenly and you may not realize it until your pants seem tighter or the buttons on your shirt won’t fasten.
Instead of waiting for that to happen, get on the scale once a week just to make sure you are still where you want to be with regards to your weight.
A two to three pound fluctuation is perfectly normal, but if you see the scale continually going in the wrong direction, it’s time to reassess your diet and your level of activity.
3. Keep a Close Eye on Portion Control
Continue to be as meticulous with portion sizes as you were when trying to lose the weight.
This will result in keeping your calories at a normal amount without much worry.
Remember—the smaller the portion, the lower the calories, carbs and fat.
4. Do Not Cut Back on Calories
If you were eating, for example, 1500 calories per day as part of your plan to lose weight, do not go lower even after you reach your goal weight.
Why? Dropping too many calories will actually contribute to weight gain which you don’t want.
Stay where you are in terms of calories, but make sure you’re still getting adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat.
Think high volume foods with less calories rather than dropping food altogether.
5. Keep Drinking Water
Make sure you keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. Not only is this good for your body, but it will also fill you up which means less bingeing on junk foods that aren’t good when you’re trying to consistently maintain a healthy weight.
6. Hang a Fat Picture of Yourself on Your Mirror
You probably have a few pictures of what you looked like pre-weight loss.
Keep them in plain sight as a reminder of how far you’ve come and why you don’t want to go back.
Think of those pictures as the beginning of a healthier new chapter in your life.
7. Keep a Food Journal
This may seem unnecessary now that you’ve lost the weight, but if you continue tracking what you eat each day, you will hold yourself more accountable by really being able to see what you’re eating and if you’re going off track and slipping back into old patterns and habits.
And because it is right in front of you, you can make any necessary fixes sooner before the weight starts coming back.
8. Start Strength Training
Studies have shown that women who spent 20 minutes a day lifting weights gained less belly fat than those who did 20 minutes of cardio daily.
That’s because resistance training burns calories and builds muscle. And that extra lean muscle keeps your metabolism in peak shape.
9. Start Your Day Right
It’s the same old breakfast tip again.
But it’s worth repeating since 78 percent of women in a large-scale study of women who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for a year or more, eat breakfast every day.
10. Cook At Home
While you definitely shouldn’t totally forego your favourite restaurant, making your own dinner is a super-simple way to make sure your meal is as nourishing as possible.
Plus, studies have shown that women who cook at home never have trouble with weight gain.